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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Democrats win from coast to coast

A year after suffering perhaps the most demoralizing defeat in modern political history, Democrats roared back on Tuesday, claiming big victories in races up and down the ballot and across the country.

The breadth of the Democratic wins surprised even the most optimistic party stalwarts, who worried over their own chances in key races Tuesday. But as the results rolled in, those Democrats said they had energized their core voters and capitalized on President Trump's unpopularity to reach swing voters.

"This is not a wave. This is a tsunami," Virginia Del. David Toscano, leader of the Democratic caucus, told The Hill in an interview Tuesday night. "This is a huge, huge sea change here in Virginia."

Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) won the Virginia governorship by a wider-than-expected margin, even with Democrats fretting about his late campaign strategy. Democrat Justin Fairfax won the lieutenant governor's office, becoming only the second African American to win a statewide post in Virginia since Reconstruction, while Attorney General Mark Herring (D) won re-election.

More astonishingly, Democrats appeared to have captured at least a share of control of the state House of Delegates, erasing what had been a massive Republican majority. Democrats picked up 16

Republican-held seats, giving them control of 50 out of the 100 seats in the lower chamber, with three more GOP-held districts likely headed for recounts.

In New Jersey, former Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy (D) easily won the right to replace deeply unpopular Gov. Chris Christie (R), cementing Democratic control in the Garden State.

In Washington state, Democrat Manka Dhingra (D) appeared headed for victory in a special election to fill an open state Senate seat. Dhingra's win in a formerly Republican district would give Democrats control of all levers of government in the Evergreen State.

Georgia Democrats celebrated winning two deep red districts in special state House elections. Two Democrats appear likely to face off in a runoff in a suburban Atlanta state Senate district formerly held by a Republican after finishing first and second in the all-party primary — a result that would break the GOP's supermajority.

Democrats added to their majority in the New Jersey state Senate, and picked up two additional state Assembly seats.

The party won a GOP-held seat in the New Hampshire state House, too.

Even local elections tipped left on Tuesday. In St. Petersburg, Fla., Mayor Rick Kriseman won re-election, after campaigning with former Vice President Joe Biden and other Democratic stalwarts, over former Mayor Rick Baker in an upset in a race in which early polls showed Baker leading.

In Manchester, N.H., Joyce Craig became the first woman to win the mayor's office, and the first Democrat to win the city since 2003, after she ousted four-term incumbent Ted Gatsas (R). (continues)

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Top general calls damage in Puerto Rico ‘the worst he’s ever seen’

Lt. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, the Department of Defense’s primary military liaison with FEMA, toured the damage in Puerto Rico for the first time Saturday during a helicopter ride from San Juan to Ceiba. After landing at a hangar in Ceiba with no power, internet or cellular service, Buchanan spoke with the PBS NewsHour’s Monica Villamizar.

“Sometimes we don’t know what’s going to happen until the storm actually hits, and this is the worst I’ve ever seen,” Buchanan said.

The trip occurred hours after President Donald Trump criticized San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz for “poor leadership” after she spoke of devastation and “horror” on the island in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and pleaded for help and support from the government. “We are dying here,” she said during a news conference Friday. 

See PBS full article with video

Sunday, September 24, 2017


Puerto Rico was impacted by Hurricane Irma just weeks earlier, but suffered immense destruction from Maria. The First Lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rosselló, launched an emergency fund, in association with major companies in the private sector such as Coca-Cola and Walmart.

The Hispanic Federation, a major Latino not-for-profit, launched an emergency fund for Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic in light of Hurricane Maria, backed by local New York City politicians.

AmeriCares is raising money to send medical supplies to Puerto Rico.

All Hands Volunteers has sent teams of volunteers to the British Virgin Islands, which was affected by both Maria and Irma.

4. Help long-term rebuilding

The non-profit organization ConPRmetidos, a non-partisan Puerto Rican not-for-profit launched an emergency recovery fund for Puerto Ricans affected by Maria and Irma, with all money going to long-term relief, "such as rebuilding houses according to safety codes or giving energy generators for common areas in disconnected communities."

Los Ambulantes provides extensive information on charities accepting donations and volunteering options, including the Surge Capacity Force, which is open to US government employees to assist with rebuilding Puerto Rico infrastructure and administration.

5. Join Puerto Rican celebrities

Lin Manuel-Miranda, creator of the musical Hamilton, is penning a benefit song. Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin donated $100,000 and launched his own fundraising page. Rapper Daddy Yankee is collecting donations and supplies at his concerts in New York and Chicago, while his "Despacito" co-star Luis Fonsi also encouraged fans to donate to United for Puerto Rico.



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